If you’ve spent any time walking – or sitting in traffic – along the streets of San Francisco, odds are your eyes have gravitated more than once towards incredible street art. As professional large print designers and creators, we’re subjectively fond of these artworks because we feel they demonstrate the rich, colorful and diverse culture that the Bay Area’s queen city is known for.
Wall murals pack a powerful punch. Not only do they add art to a space that would be a void without it, but they also cut back on less attractive graffiti, and they wind up becoming a medium for which the Bay Area’s most talented graffiti artists can get paid – and respected –for their work. And, as a large wall mural at George Washington High School can attest, wall murals can be tremendous sources of community controversy.
5 of San Francisco’s Amazing Wall Murals You Don’t Want to Miss
For us, murals (even the controversial ones) represent the ideas, inspiration, and symbolism of their eras and their artists. Here are five of our favorite murals – the ones that you can look at time and time again –noticing (and feeling) something new with each gaze.
1. The Women’s Building MaestraPeace Mural (3543 18th St.)
The Mission District has an incredible array of street art and wall murals –all of which deserve their own mention. However, our favorite would have to be MaestraPeace, who lives benevolently on the wall of the Women’s Building.
The internationally-renowned work was a collaborative effort between seven artists, Edythe Boone, Meera Desai, Juana Alicia, Irene Perez, Yvonne Littleton, Miranda Bergman, and Susan Kelk Cervates, along with nearly 100 volunteers. Caligrapher, Olivia Quevedo, gave up hundreds of hours to the project as well. The mural was painted in 1994 and spans two large walls.
2. We All Deserve a Healthy and Safe Community (Clarion Alley)
The Tenderloin is the City’s grittiest, “underground” areas. It is a side of San Francisco that most postcards fail to depict and that most tourists never see. The Hospitality House is an incredible non-profit organization, dedicated to helping men and women “address their immediate survival needs.”
The building is also home to incredible murals, including We All Deserve a Healthy and Safe Community, painted by members of the Artists of the Community Arts Program as part of the Clarion Alley Mural Project.
3. Bad Hombre (Clarion Alley)
We’ll stick around in Clarion Alley to share Bad Hombre, by resident S.F. artist, Sirron Norris, painted as a response to Donald Trump’s notorious comments that likened immigrants to “bad hombres.”
Norris’s famous blue bear and other cartoon-esque characterizations and artwork appear in multiple locations around the city. And, while the figures and scenes may appear comical or neutral at first, almost all are infused with social and political commentary. You can view more of his Blue Bear work at the Children’s Health Center at S.F. General.
4. No Ceiling (Mission St. at 5th)
The stunning mural, No Ceiling, is painted by an anonymous street artist who goes by “Believe in People (BIP).” The mural spans five stories – indicative of its message: women are powerful and overcome incredible obstacles. No Ceiling is viewed by many of her admirers as the 21st century, “Rosie the Riveter.” The mural required 400 cans of spray paint and was completed single-handedly by the artist.
5. Untitled Face (466 Brannon Street)
Proof that large-format designs are transformative – this face, painted by Oakland-based artist, HUEMAN, stops you in your tracks. Without it, the one-dimensional plane she lives on would be a drab and boring office building.
Ready to Leverage the Power of Wall Murals & Large Format Graphics?
Unless you’re lucky enough to live or work in a building where that a phenomenal street artist decides to tag, odds are your building will remain plain Jane. The reality, however, is that the price for a well-respected street artist to create a commissioned work is around $20 per square foot or more – bringing the total for a 200-square foot mural to right around $4000+ dollars.
If that cost is prohibitive for your small business, we recommend hiring an artist – or graphic designer – you love to draw a small, high-definition design of your vision (or theirs). Then, you can take that to a large format printer who will convert it into weatherproof vinyl that can be adhered to the building. In that way, you support the work of a local artist and get the wall mural of your dreams at a price that fits into your budget.
Interested in learning more about the ability to create eye-catching wall murals that are both affordable and durable – even more durable than paint? Contact us here at SpeedPro East Bay, where we combine the best that art and printing technology have to offer.